"The key to success is taking shit."
When I saw that quote from the new movie Horrible Bosses, I couldn't help but think about the people who still work where I used to. It's been more than a year since I lost my job and things are working out just fine for me now. I don't have to take shit (or write weekly reports about it) any longer. That's good. But the best part is that my wife and I are free to go. We will be leaving Texas soon.
Before we go, I feel like I should do something nice for the people where I used to work -- send them a sympathy card, recommend a good therapist, a good lawyer, send them a gift membership to the Hemlock Society, a hazmat suit for those days when things are especially toxic, something appropriate, practical, useful. Not the people I worked for. They have what they deserve: my utter contempt and undying enmity. But I miss my former co-workers sometimes. For the most part I feel sorry for them simply because they're still there and I'm out here (and life is so much better out here). And I want to remember them fondly, but I can't. I still have hurt feelings over the fact that more than a year has passed and almost no one has bothered to give me a call, drop me an email, see how things are going, have a drink, dinner, a chat, express their churchy compassion or offer to keep me in their prayers (not even in Korean), anything.
These are people with whom I did more than work for seven years. We lived our jobs day and night (and weekends and holidays). I was in their houses and they were in mine. We discussed work the way co-workers do; we fretted, fussed, gossiped, politicked, cursed our fate and our bosses. We also discussed art, books, photography, history, sports, gardening, food, music, movies, everything, the way friends do. We seemed to be more than co-workers. Much more.
But we weren't. It turns out we were not friends, not really, not ever. I am mostly disappointed in myself for not seeing them sooner for what they were and no doubt always will be: jobbists, fakes, scaredy-cats, hypocrites, shit-takers. We all know that in the tiny hothouse world of work, anybody's work, lies are so commonplace that real deceit is difficult to see and even more difficult to measure. It can catch you by surprise. I can swear to that. And maybe if it catches any of them (SURPRISE!), they can give me a call, leave a message, drop me an email, and maybe I will do something nice for them - like I said before: sympathy, therapy, a lawyer, hemlock, whatever they need most - but I probably won't. I wouldn't want them to get the wrong idea and think I actually care. Besides, what's done is done and they've already done it - or not
As for me, it's taken time and therapy but I've quit beating myself up about it. Now I am saying goodbye to all that. As I said, soon I will be moving on. Our house is for sale. In a few months Mr. and Mrs. UnTexan are going back to New Mexico where we belong. But I'm not through with Texas yet.